My understanding of my family’s religion was that we didn’t have to go to church if we didn’t want to and that our belief in God was tenuous at best. I grasped the seventh principle, “the interconnected web of all existence,” and I understood the humanist tradition in a vague sense, but the truth is I didn’t think about Unitarianism all that much. I hadn’t been to church in months. That Sunday, my brother and I went with our mother. We sat five rows back, near a woman named Tamsin Brodhead. Tamsin was tall like a basketball player, and very serious. It was an unspoken rule in the congregation that we should never mention her brother to her. David Brod was the lead singer in a once popular, now aging rock band, and no matter how much we had been prepared it was still a shock to see him there.
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
Subscribe for free: Stitcher | Apple Podcasts | Google Play